Series: Rapture Trilogy #3
Author: Phillip W. Simpson
Read It & Reap Date: July 9, 2013
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Page Count: 480
Published: February 5, 2013, by Arete Publishing
Description: The seven years of the Tribulation are almost over. The Apocalypse- the final battle between good and evil - is almost upon us and with it, the end of the world as we know it.
For the last seven years, the half-demon Samael has battled his inner demons as well as the very real demons that inhabit the desolate, ash-shrouded Earth. Betrayed by Heaven and Hell, cursed by the surviving humans that he strives to protect, separated from all those he loves – Sam’s existence is filled with death and despair.
Now he must make a choice. Continue to fight for those he swore to protect or leave them to their fate and join his father in Hell. The Apocalypse is coming and it isn’t going to wait for Sam to make up his mind.
Title: The Unseen Country
Author: Phillip W. Simpson
Read It & Reap Date: July 9, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Page Count: 200
Published: January 25, 2013, by Arete Publishing
Description: Two years ago, Tom’s younger brother, Josh was kidnapped. Josh has been missing ever since. Tom saw who took him. Problem is – nobody believes him. In fact, most people think he’s mad. That’s because Josh was taken by creatures who aren’t meant to exist. Creatures from another realm - fairy creatures that only Tom can see.
In the fairy realm known as the Unseen Country, Flynn, an apprentice fairy (who is in danger of failing), stumbles upon a conspiracy that could mean the downfall of both worlds.
Together, the friendless boy and the fairy who can’t fly need to rescue a boy from a fate worse than death. And save both worlds from something even worse.
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Q & A with Phillip W. Simpson
Q: Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
A: The main character is Sam. He's a teenage boy with a dark secret - he's half demon. His mother was seduced by a demon. He's physically superior to humans but extremely vulnerable to iron. He's also socially awkward and angry most of the time. His anger tends to get out of control and he's not very good at controlling his emotions. His mother managed to smuggle her infant son to a friend - Hikari. He's a Japanese sword master and demon expert who brings up Sam. He's small in stature and quiet, unassuming. Aimi is his teenage daughter. Beautiful and physically capable but, like her father, hardly physically imposing. She's everything that Sam isn't - popular, happy, socially balanced. She's also pushed herself to excel - probably because she knows what's coming and wants to get the most out of life.
Q: What was your favorite scene to write?
A: The opening scene in Rapture is where the main character, Sam, is waiting in the darkness for the demons to emerge and come for him. I find these types of scenes quite scary. The whole unknown quantity. The audience at this point don’t know what is coming for him, who he is and what has happened to the world. It’s a very tense scene and as a result, was quite intense and enjoyable for me to write.
Q: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A: I’ve been writing since I was a boy. I always loved reading and writing thanks to the influence of my parents. Could hardly move in my house for fear of falling over a stack of books. I suppose it was inevitable that I would take an interest in reading - and writing in particular. Dad handed me a copy of the Hobbit when I was about 8 and it introduced me to fantasy in a big way. New Zealand is very scenic and I've spent a lot of time trekking which has influenced me in terms of the depiction of landscapes. I also became obsessed with warfare. My undergrad degree was in Ancient History and archaeology and I was particularly interested in battles and weapons. I went on to do my Masters in archaeology and started my doctorate. I really wanted to do my thesis on stone age weapons and tools and I may still finish it one day. I'm pretty obsessed with getting my facts straight about weapons and fight scenes because of this interest.
Q: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A: I teach during the day and my wife and I have a small boy (Jack), so I don’t have much time during the week. To be honest, I’m too tired when I get home to summon up the creative energy you need to write a novel. During school terms, I write in the weekends. Usually both days from 8am until about 4pm. I can get on a bit of a roll then. In the holidays, I’ll write every weekday for about the same time. I have the weekends off.
If I write for a whole day, I’ll usually get about 4,000 words done. That’s 20k a week. You do the maths – you can have a whole novel written in about 4 weeks. Of course, it may be terrible, but that’s what the editing process is all about. For preparation, I get on the rowing machine in the morning and listen to my ipod. That’s when I do most of my thinking. I visualize the scenes in my head and the exercise clears my head and gets me charged up.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: Depends on what mood you get me in. My wife would describe me as uncommunicative, intense and irritable if I’m in the middle of writing. Apparently my ears are painted on too, which is a sin that most husbands are guilty of. Mostly though, I guess I’m pretty silly and tactile. I like to laugh and make others laugh too.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: I don’t have any. However, if you define ‘special talent’ as in some vague skill at something, then I play drums in the school band. I’ve been playing for years but I’m still pretty rubbish. Long ago, I did Kung-fu for six years (I have a brown belt). I sing a pretty mean version of ‘Burning ring of fire’ by Johnny Cash when I’ve had a few drinks.
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Probably Croatia. That's where a lot of the Game of Thrones is being filmed and it looks fantastic. I'm fairly well traveled - I've been to about 80 countries all up but there are always new places I'd love to see. Antarctica would be pretty cool (ha!). I've only been to a few places in the States (New York and L.A mostly) so would love to see Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans - the list goes on.
Q: What book are you reading now?
A: Still reading the Game of Thrones series by George R.R Martin. I love the TV series but I have to admit I’m struggling with it, basically because I’m not reading in large chunks at the moment. I kind of dip into it when I have a moment but I’m having a bit of trouble keeping up with who’s who (so many characters). I have the best intentions but because we have a toddler, I end up falling asleep not long after I pick a book up.
About the Author: I'm an author of mostly children's books - both fiction and non-fiction.
Currently, I am a full-time elementary (primary) school teacher, a full-time writer, a full-time husband and a full-time father. Before becoming a writer, I tried several other career options. I joined the army for a bit, gained a Masters in Archaeology, owned a comic shop, became obsessed with martial arts and oriental weapons and turned down a job at the British museum.
All told, I have over fifty books published. Most of these are children's books for publishers that include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Oxford University Press and Cengage.
My YA novel RAPTURE (the first in the Rapture trilogy) was released Sept 1st, 2011 by Pear Jam books. RAPTURE is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story about the end of the world featuring demons, angels and a half demon protagonist caught in the middle. RAPTURE was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel award for best Youth novel.
Book 2, TRIBULATION, is scheduled for release in October, 2012. The final book, APOCALYPSE, will be out in late 2012/early 2013.
I have recently become an indie author after getting my rights back from my publisher for the Rapture trilogy. All five of my novels are now available.
On a personal note, I'm married to Rose, we have a son (Jack) and two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. I love fishing, reading, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.